This season’s renewal of the Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger, scheduled for Doncaster on September 15, looks set to be one of the highest profile runnings of the race in the last 30 years. The unbeaten triple classic hero, Camelot, is set to take his chance and bid to become the first horse since the mighty Nijinsky in 1970 to land the British Triple Crown, writes Elliot Slater.
Having proven fast enough to win the 2000 Guineas over a mile, before hacking up in the Epsom Derby, and then grinding through the mud to follow-up in the Irish equivalent, there are some on Betfair who wonder whether the additional two-and-a-half furlongs of the world’s oldest classic might just prove a step too far for the Aidan O’Brien-trained star.
The picture as to who will emerge as the principal danger to Camelot will certainly become much clearer following the Group 2 Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on August 22, a contest that is always seen as the key trial for the last classic of the British Flat racing season.
Three times in the last 11 renewals, the winner of the Great Voltigeur Stakes has gone on to win the St Leger – Milan (2001), Rule of Law (2004), and Lucarno (2007) – while others such as last year’s wide margin winner, Sea Moon, went on to be a subsequently unlucky loser at Town Moor.
With John Gosden holding a particularly strong hand for the York race this year, with the likes of Irish Oaks winner, Great Heavens, Epsom Derby fourth, Thought Worthy, and the improving pair of Shanataram and Michelangelo, this year’s renewal of the Great Voltigeur Stakes will surely prove as informative as ever.
Ballydoyle is set to be represented by any number of possible runners, including Astrology and the French Group 1 winner, Imperial Monarch, helping to shape the market on the Betfair St Leger page for those prepared to take on Camelot at Doncaster, in what promises to be a race to remember.